It’s been observed that women struggle with (and celebrate!) feelings of invisibility past the age of 40. In a society dominated by a male gaze that favors younger and supposedly “less challenging” female subjects, female artists have their own set of obstacles when it comes to even being acknowledged for involvement in art movements and scenes that have generously lauded their male contemporaries. Enter Anonymous Was A Woman, an organization dedicated to combatting this particular set of challenges and highlighting the achievements of women artists, over 40 years of age and at a significant juncture in their lives or careers, and supporting their careers through $25,000 unrestricted grants.
Though anonymous for years, artist Susan Unterberg recently revealed herself as founder and sole funder of Anonymous Was a Woman, which has awarded over $6 million to 240 women artists over the last two decades. The grantees are nominated by a group of distinguished women curators, writers, critics, and artists. The award goes to 10 recipients a year and is given in recognition of an artist’s accomplishments, artistic growth, originality, and potential.
Just announced, the 2019 cohort is a diverse and exciting group, ranging in age from 45 to 84 years of age, and working across a terrific array of media: Elia Alba (57); Marsha Cottrell (55); Torkwase Dyson (46); Heide Fasnacht (68); Nona Faustine; Rhodessa Jones (70); Jennifer Wen Ma (46); Amie Siegel (45); Diane Simpson (84); and Karina Aguilera Skvirsky (52).
“I am delighted to congratulate this year’s award recipients — a group of extraordinary artists working in diverse mediums and exploring some of the most pressing issues of contemporary life,” said Unterberg, in a press release accompanying the award announcement. “I founded Anonymous Was a Woman to fill a void that I witnessed personally: support for women artists in the middle stages of their careers. More than 20 years later, we continue to see data that reveals the delta between how both museums and the market regard male and female artists — which only galvanizes our mission and our commitment to celebrating the voices of women.”
While some people rightly chafe at the symbolic annihilation of women in mass media, and others find liberation in the release from social pressure to work for male validation, it can be assumed that most artists appreciate recognition for their efforts, not to mention financial support for their continued artistic development. Congratulations to this year’s recipients, Susan Unterberg, everyone who goes out of their way to fight the cultural tendency to relegate women over 40 to the margins!
Editor’s note 11/21/19 3:21pm: We have removed the age of one of the awardees at their request.
The artist’s portrait of her mother, painted in 1977 and reproduced on the vaporetti of Venice, may be one of the most evocative artworks in the Biennale.
A new box set of four of the Iranian director’s features offers a great opportunity to get to know his singular style.
Shows at the Hudson Valley’s Hessel Museum of Art feature artists Dara Birnbaum and Martine Syms, as well as new scholarship on Black melancholia as an artistic and critical practice.
It’s not a “greatest hits” show, or a comprehensive survey; rather, it is a starting point to reconsider an expansive vision of Chicana/o art.
“I’m focused on contemporary Native American stories, the modern-day ups and downs of that lifestyle, but I’m not trying to do it in a traditional manner,” the award-winning filmmaker told Hyperallergic in an interview.
PLEASE SEND TO REAL LIFE: Ray Johnson Photographs reveals the “career in photography” that occupied the artist in the last three years of his life.
The Tweet comparing an ominous screen capture from the Tucker Carlson Show to one of Holzer’s Truisms is being sold as an NFT to benefit crucial organizations in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.
Rapper Maykel “Osorbo” Pérez was sentenced to nine years.
Contemporary Black-Indigenous women artists Rodslen Brown, Joelle Joyner, Moira Pernambuco, Paige Pettibon, Monica Rickert-Bolter, and Storme Webber are featured in this digital exhibition.
On the day of the Supreme Court’s decision to undo 50 years of constitutional rights to abortion, artist Elana Mann’s “protest rattles” feel especially poignant and urgent.
This week, Title IX celebrates 50 years, the trouble with pronouns, a writer’s hilarious response to plagiarism allegations, and much more.
Since antiquity, women’s eyebrows have been sites of intense scrutiny, constantly shifting between trend cycles.